The Future Oregon Cannabis Research Institute?


Oregon may soon be home to a world-class Oregon Cannabis Research Institute!

This spectacularly good idea today emerged from a study commissioned by the Oregon senate.  Noelle Crombie of The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the study by Oregon physicians and researchers recommends strongly that the state fund (from adult-use marijuana sales) an institute for cannabis research.  The document SB 844 Task Force Report:Researching the medical and public health properties of cannabis, is a remarkable read. The report discloses the staggering potential of medical cannabis to hugely help humankind against dozens of maladies. The list is so impressive it is nearly an embarrassment of health riches, seemingly too good to be true.

But it is true that medical cannabis provides promise, if not far more, to at least these conditions from the report:

    • Nausea; Chemotherapy
    • Chronic Pain
    • Spasms and Tics; Multiple Sclerosis; Spinal Cord Injuries; Tourette’s Syndrome
    • Appetite Stimulation; Wasting Syndrome; Anorexia
    • Glaucoma
    • Anxiety Disorders; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD
    • Intestinal Dysfunction
    • Epilepsy
    • Hepatitis C
    • Sleep
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
      • Breast, Prostate, Lung, Skin, Pancreatic, Bone, Glioma, Lymphoma, Oral, Head and Neck, Thyroid
    • Inflammation, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; Ulcerative Colitis,  Crohn’s Disease
    • Neuroprotection, Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Parkinson Disease
    • BMI and Waist Circumference

This list is by no means complete, but does suggest that the institute, surrounded by Oregon’s large population of medical users, will not want for research topics.

A perfect research subject for the institute would be the promising use of cannabis in preventing and treating CTE brain damage in football players.

The report also suggests researching the public health properties of cannabis. Based upon the experience of other state and countries, public health researchers might expect to find:

  • Less alcohol use, and with it tremendous social and health benefits
  • Less domestic violence and less crime in general
  • Less pharmaceutical use
  • Less cigarette smoking
  • Less heroin use
  • Less homicide
  • Less suicide

Beyond the treatment of diseases and injuries, cannabis is a wellness drug, enhancing the lives of many millions around the planet. The sullen fact is that cannabis has not been studied medically in the USA, primarily because of its idiotic placement into Schedule I, over 40 long years ago. This lack of research and clinging to Schedule I to exclude such a medically marvelous substance is a crime against humanity.

Perhaps, though, right here in Oregon, a huge correction can take place with a first-class cannabis research institute.

Such an institute would currently still be nearly ham-strung by the scandalous Schedule I situation. In a state brimming with cannabis, the institute might have to jump through DEA and NIDA hoops just to get cannabis to study. Ridiculously, the institute, instead of growing its own medical marijuana as the task force report envisions, might have to acquire cannabis from the federal farm in Mississippi. And keep it locked in a safe at night.

On the other hand, Oregon’s two powerful senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have become rather first-rate on the issue of cannabis. They could be expected to provide powerful political cover for the institute. Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer has sterling credentials to help the institute from the House of Representatives. Congressman Blumenauer has been able to work across the aisle with Republicans such as Dana Rohrabacher, potentially providing some bipartisan political cover and support. I will do my best to ask Congressmen Blumenauer and Rohrabacher about the potential for an Oregon Cannabis Research Institute during their bipartisan panel at the International Cannabis Business Conference this weekend.

An Oregon Cannabis Research Institute could absolutely put the state in the catbird’s seat to what may well become a cannabis-based healthcare revolution. The Big Pharma “healthcare” model is sputtering, researching products that provide long-term use, not cures, e.g. toenail fungus or  drugs that attempt to alleviate the side-effects of other pharmaceuticals. On the other hand, research on cannabis and it marvel molecules THC, CBD, THCV and others with their antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties offer fundamental new findings and new medical knowledge.

For at least 7,000 years, humans have used cannabis medically, and illegally for only about 70 years. Cannabis offers a medical bounty for humankind, just waiting to be unleashed. The benefits of medical cannabis are so revolutionary, the entire bloated health care system may well be fundamentally changed for the better, if its medical properties could be fully researched. Oregon can play a leading role in this medical revolution and benefit enormously in the process.

Let it be so at the Oregon Cannabis Research Institute!